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Book I: Escape from Nox - Chapter 13: The Balance Due

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Day 59: D’jeziira, Never’s drow steward from Fortune’s Bluff, arrives near midnight to collect the overseer for extraction from Nox. Trying to wake up, Never is visited by the siren while washing his face in a water basin. Rattled, the technomancer hurls the basin against the wall shattering it. Never, Nai, and Whitechapel accompany the steward and board the last train out of the Hollows departing in the dark of night. Riding in the luxury car, they celebrate winning free of Nox drinking wine and smoking Dragon Sand. Nai charms the steward and takes her to bed in the sleeping chamber at the back of the car. Not long after, turned by Niklaus in the Hollows, thralls – all mages from the House of Sipher – attack the car with elemental fury. Whitechapel fights at the front of the car as the thralls are held back by Never’s Luminiferous Torch. Nai leaps naked from the bed firing on the thralls attacking the back of the car with the Widowmaker. Whitechapel downs one of the thralls and Nai drops a smoke grenade in the back of the car. The thralls retreat taking the fight outside the train car. As Whitechapel grapples with one of the thralls on the small balcony at the front of the car, Nai and the steward dress. When they reach the top of the train, D’jeziira reveals herself more than a steward cutting one of the thrall’s throats and kicking another off the train to plummet two hundred feet to the Sea of Silt below. The last thrall meets a similar fate as Whitechapel hurls him off the balcony. With a locked car between them, they make their way forward atop the train to the dining car where Never confronts Mayor Shelby and Drez Bok. The mayor relents and reveals that they were lured into the murder plot by the vampire, Niklaus, and – for good measure – were skimming spirit crystals from the operation in the Hollows. Never leaves Shelby to wallow in failure, but Whitechapel shoots Bok in the face for no reason other than the mess. A few hours after dawn, the train reaches Depot 613 where a carriage takes them to Hexerai Xhil. With mere hours remaining before an Iron Guard fleet is expected to arrive from Foundry, the town is a hive of activity. Along with the Black Walker, the four are whisked up to the dark floating fortress of Pax’Rora by way of the Translocation Chamber.

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